This month I’m featuring Alyce from the Carolina’s! She’s a Neuro ICU nurse who has defined “nurse burnout” exactly how I would. She’s currently taking some time for herself, but her tips on tackling burnout are a must-read.
Tell me about your background. Where do you call home? If you’re currently traveling, where in the world are you?
I grew up in South Carolina, but after graduating from USC in 2015, I moved to North Carolina and worked there for a few years before traveling. I’m currently on #FUNemployment and am enjoying the holidays with friends and family in North Carolina. It’s my first Christmas that I’m not working since being a nurse!
What kind of nursing do you do and how long have you been a nurse?
I’ve been a nurse for about 4.5 years now and work in the ICU; my specialty is Neuro ICU.
Why did you choose to become a nurse?
I knew I wanted to work in healthcare and change peoples’ lives for the better. I’m also very passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. I enjoy the challenges of nursing and believe that I can have a positive impact. And at the end of the day, I truly love what I do, I love taking care of my patients and watching them recover.
How did you choose which unit you wanted to work on?
I actually wanted to work in NICU/PICU after graduating but figured it would be good to get my feet wet learning about sick adult patients first. So 4.5 years later, I’m still taking care of adults. I will eventually make the transition, but for now, I like where I am.
I’m a huge advocate of preventing nurse burnout. What does nurse burnout mean to you?
Nurse burnout for me means dreading going to work even though I love what I do. When you’re so physically and mentally drained because you’re taking home the stress of the hospital and you just don’t want to go back to work. Burnout is knowing that even those bonuses for overtime shifts will not persuade you to come in on your days off.
Have you ever experienced nurse burnout yourself?
Absolutely. As a new grad nurse, I was so eager to learn as much as I could and pick up extra shifts and help everyone in the unit. The longer you work, the excitement and energy begins to wear off. Plus you start becoming dragged through the politics of the hospital.
How are you trying to combat or prevent nurse burnout?
First, saying no to picking up extra shifts (because of #selfcare). Secondly, I do CrossFit because I love staying active and setting new PRs for myself. It’s amazing what our bodies are capable of doing! Third, traveling! I love experiencing new things and doing things that I’ve never done before, plus trying new cuisine (Honestly, the food is my favorite part.)
Before ending, tell me one fun fact about yourself unrelated to nursing.
I love to cook and bake!
Where can people find you?
Probably hiking up a mountain somewhere or on a motorcycle (unless I’m working).
If you want to talk about your experience with nurse burnout or know someone who does, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org